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Gibson named interim sprint coach

29th October 2012

British Swimming has appointed former world champion James Gibson as the Interim Sprint Coach to head up the Sprint Programme at Loughborough University.

Gibson, who retired from competitive swimming in 2010, had won gold at European, Commonwealth and world level before turning his hand to coaching at the CN Marseille club, one of French Swimming's High Performance Centres.

The plan was always to address our event weaknesses, especially the sprints bearing in mind the number of events across the different strokes and the relays.

Since he took the lead of the sprint programme in Marseille, athletes under his guidance have won 19 international medals, including Florent Manaudou who won gold for France in the 50m Freestyle at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Gibson has also been part of the Dutch coaching team for international competitions since 2010. Working closely with the Netherlands NPD Jacco Verhaeren, he also helped develop the women’s sprint relay teams who went on to win two World Championship gold medals and Olympic silver.

Michael Scott, National Performance Director for British Swimming said: “The plan was always to address our event weaknesses, especially the sprints bearing in mind the number of events across the different strokes and the relays.

“With Ben Titley’s departure from Loughborough we need a coach to look after our sprint athletes there in the interim whilst we progress our plan to set up a permanent sprint centre in the UK.

“James Gibson has accepted the job as Interim Sprint Coach and will join us in December. Once we know our budget from UK Sport and have established our future funding priorities from that, the nature and extent of the sprint programme will be determined going forward.

“As a swimmer, Gibson’s background is first class and although he is a young coach, his experience in working with the world renowned sprint programme in Marseille and his role with the Dutch swimming team over the last two years have provided him with great skills to help British Swimming lift its performances in the sprint events.”

Gibson, who received an MBE in 2004 for services to swimming was delighted to have the opportunity to work with British swimmers.

“My expertise over the past two years has been in sprint coaching so I am delighted to have the chance to come back to Britain in this brand new role,” said Gibson.

I'm delighted to have the chance to come back to Britain in this brand new role.

“There is already a good platform in Britain with some talented swimmers so hopefully the new programme will enable them to progress and win more medals at World and Olympic levels in the future.

“I have been in Marseille for six years now and I am grateful for all the support I have had there, especially from Romain Barnier who not only helped me in my transition from swimmer to coach but presented me with an opportunity to coach some of the best swimmers in the world.

“Britain has an excellent history in swimming and I am looking forward to coming home to lead the sprint programme in Loughborough and playing an important role in its future development."

The new programme will begin on December 3rd.

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